New commission for Wilton’s Strike! Dance Festival

I am excited to announce (albeit a little belatedly) that I am one of the six choreographers commissioned to create a new work for Wilton’s Strike! Dance Festival, to be presented at the beautiful Wilton’s Music Hall on 26th September. Tickets are free and can be reserved through this link.

The commissioned work will be a solo created and performed by myself. Taking the practice of ropework as a starting point, it follows one person’s quest to untangle the twisted fibres of her self.

What can I say? We are messy beings. But simplifying things can be complex; often, the more you try to untangle something the more tangled it becomes.

Wish me luck.

EN photo 2Wiltons-Music-Hall

Intramural screening in London

Sam and I are pleased to announce that Intramural will be screened at The Doodle Bar on 8th July at 6:30pm.

We have already shown the film at Footprint Dance Festival, and will be travelling to Stockholm in August 2014 to present it at Stoff, the Stockholm Fringe Festival. To help us cover the costs of getting to Stockholm, we are asking for a suggested donation of £3 to attend the screening. However, please note that this really is suggested, and we would much rather see your faces than your money.

The Doodle Bar is a fun, quirky bar, which will be open as usual that evening. So come join us for a drink or two, a short film*, and a catch-up!


Doodlebar flyer


*running time is approximately 10 minutes.

Intramural goes to Stockholm

As we finish showing our film at Footprint Dance Festival, we are excited to announce that Intramural has been accepted to Stoff, the Stockholm Fringe Festival!


This means that Samantha and I will be taking a trip across the North Sea this August to present our work and soak up all that Stoff has to offer. We can’t wait!

Watch this space for specific dates and program details…


Still from ‘Intramural’


Learning Through Drinking (Tea)

In the interest of highlighting some of the threads that tie my various, seemingly separate pursuits together, I thought I’d re-post this light-hearted take on practice-as-research that I wrote for The English Tea Store blog a while back:

Tea Blog

When people hear the word “research” they might initially think of scientific experiments and test tubes, or of historians buried in archives, leafing through old documents and photographs. But “research” can also refer to the process of learning through doing. This mode of exploration, often called experiential research, is something that applies to my work of learning, creating, and performing dance, but I’ve also found it to be very relevant to that other pursuit in my life—tea.

Do a little experiential research with English Breakfast Tea No. 2 Do a little experiential research with English Breakfast Tea No. 2

Just like dance, tea drinking is an activity where the line between research and practice blurs. You learn through doing, which in this case means drinking tea! Consider the following examples:

Imagine seeing a green tea you’ve never heard of listed in a tea shop, or having it recommended by a friend. You might do some investigation to see what type of…

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Intramural screening

It has just been confirmed that Intramurala dance film created by myself and Samantha McCormick—will be shown on Monday 12th May, at 7pm and Thursday 15th May at 5pm as part of the Footprint Dance Festival at Roehampton University. More info on the line-up for Monday is here and for Thursday is here. Tickets can be booked through this link. Hope to see you there!

Intramural at FDF


I am excited to announce that Intramural, a dance film created in collaboration with Samantha McCormick, will be screened as part of the Footprint Dance Festival at Roehampton University in May 2014. Specific dates and times to be announced shortly…


Dance! Film!

Site-specific work is in some ways even more fleeting than performances made for a theatre because of its lack of touring potential– it is, well, specific to one site.

But there are other ways to continue the life of a work, aside from touring and performing it again…

I am currently collaborating with fellow dancer/fim lady extraordinaire Samantha McCormick to re-create and re-imagine here: ravelled/unravelled as a dance film. It’s early stages, but it looks like the film will have an identity that is completely its own, despite being made from footage of the work. Exciting times.

More info here.



I am excited to announce that the performances for my most recent project, here: ravelled/unravelled, are scheduled for the 1st and 2nd February, at 6:30pm and 8pm (both days).

This site-specific work will be taking place at 38 Elcho Street, SW11 4AU, home to Dark Matter Studio, and explores opening up the often tightly woven fabric of a place’s identity.

here: ravelled/unravelled  is being presented as part of my M.A. dissertation in choreography from London Contemporary Dance School, and is performed by Tim Clark and Kostas Papamatthaiakis. The evening will also feature the exhibition of work by visual artist Marianne Walker, curated by Zoë Dorelli (Dark Matter Studio).

Due to the nature of the space, the number of audience members for each performance is limited. As such, please RSVP to me with your name and the performance you would like to attend.

M.A. flyer

January: a modern month?

Re-reading some of my work, I came across this quote from David Brett:

‘A modern culture (and I propose this as a general rule) is always Janus-faced, looking both backward and forward, never fully settled in the present’ (1996, 26)

The current month of January is, of course, named after Janus, the two-faced Roman god associated with beginnings, transitions, endings, and doorways and portals. He looks with one face to the future and with one face to the past.

In January, (not exclusively but perhaps more than at other times of the year) I certainly feel that I emulate Janus. But does this have to mean that we are never fully settled in the present? Or is this restless condition more applicable to modern cultures than to the individuals within them?


Lustrum and time

Time. This was a key element in Lustrum, perhaps the key element. Making a piece a day and starting from nothing* meant that time was tight. Gary and Eleanor (especially Eleanor) kept time ferociously, clock-watching and giving us a count-down as the day went on: ‘two hours left’, ‘one hour’, ‘forty minutes- do we have a piece?!’, ‘fifteen minutes’, ‘five minutes left- make a decision!’

The lack of time was exactly the point, or rather, the perceived lack of time. We did, of course, have time, but most of us would never think it possible to make a piece with a clear choreographic idea, structure, costumes, and music in six hours. These were the assumptions that Gary was seeking to challenge, and Lustrum pushed us to explore what was possible in an unusually short amount of time. But it could be said that, more than just imposing a time limit, Lustrum actually forced us to work with time differently, to change our assumptions about time and its relation to our actions, to not think about the time and to just keep doing, but also to be very conscious of the time, to clock-watch, in order not to get lost in long winding alleyways of discussion, over-thinking, and crafting and recrafting and recrafting and recrafting and recrafting…

There are many other elements at play in Lustrum as well – the collaboration between fifteen individuals (no small task, I assure you), instinct and action, the choreographers taking full responsibility for the creation process (hence the choice of ‘performer-as-vessel’ model, where the performers are not allowed to make suggestions or contribute creatively). But in some ways Lustrum can be seen primarily as an exercise in usurping and remaking time, or rather usurping and remaking our experience and navigation of time. That week I was in Lustrum-time: a time where my experience of six hours was recalibrated, my body time and my mind time both experienced a shifting of rhythms, and where crazy things happened both in startling quick succession and over the long arc of the week- a week whose duration felt entirely unlike the duration of any other week I can remember.

Lustrum as an exercise in refiguring time. It is perhaps not a surprise that I am looking at Lustrum from this angle; my research question for my MA dissertation is all about the potential for performance (specifically site-specific performance) for revealing and actively engaging in a non-linear, multi-temporal experience of place. Lustrum exists for entirely different reasons and came from an entirely different place, and it is also an experience that cannot be reduced to one framework or viewed from one angle without over-simplifying what happened (for another angle on the Lustrum experience, take a look at these reflections written by a fellow Lustrummer). That said, it is always nice to tie the threads of my different experiences together, and I like that fact that my MA research has given me another insight into Lustrum. But Lustrum in still in the lead on this front; it has given me many more than just one insight into my existing research practices.

*There have been some interesting responses to this assertion, but to clarify, when we say we started with nothing, we mean that we walked into the studio each day with no plans for what the work would be about, how it would be structured, who would be performing, or exactly how we would go about making it. We then, of course, had to start somewhere, as does everyone.

Gary Clarke’s Lustrum

Pleased to say that I will be involved in Gary Clarke’s Lustrum, a ‘a fast and furious collaborative project driven by creative instinct and quickfire choices,’ which culminates in performances at Greenwich Dance on 8th November.

The prospect of working with 14 other dance artists and 3 musicians to create 5 works in 6 days is definitely exciting, if a little daunting. But I am looking forward to challenging the rather comfortable divide between my performance and choreographic practices that currently exists.

Site adaptive v. site-specific

Working on Walking Paths has given me an opportunity to reflect on something that has been niggling at the corners of my brain for a while: the case of site-specific v. site-adaptive work.

My work to date has been site-specific, that is, created for a specific site. For me, that has meant doing research into the history of the site, seeking out and engaging with stories that relate to that specific place, and, overall, investing myself quite deeply in the place. This was  the case for Right. Left, right. Left. Right…left, out of which Walking Paths developed, although Walking Paths itself was conceived as a site-adaptive work – that is, work created with the intention that it be performed at multiple sites. Whilst a site-specific work, or indeed a work for the theatre, can be adapted for another site, I would use the term site-adaptive for work that from its inception was intended to be toured to different locations. Often, these different locations would be similar types of sites – car parks, playgrounds, staircases, etc. But the specific car park, playground, or staircase will not affect the content of the work, although it may affect the logistics – spacing, etc. – in a similar way to the way that different theatre spaces necessitate re-spacing sections, adjusting light cues, and so on, in works created for the theatre.

Not only has my work to date been site-specific, but I have been, and I think, continue to be, more interested in site-specific than site-adaptive work – it just happens to be the outcome of the type of research that I am interested in doing. I embarked on the creation of Walking Paths knowing this, and as such was interested to see how things unfolded. I felt that, really, the main appeal of site-adaptive work was its touring potential. Site-specific work is not tour-able, because it can only be performed at that one site. It could of course be performed multiple times, and revisited and expanded upon, but there is not the same potential for showing the work to different audiences, and (on a slightly cynical, but practical, note) therefore capitalise on more exposure and/or ticket income; site-specific work costs more as the ratio of overhead costs/time/work to performance potential is higher.

This was the slightly cynical thought at the back of my head as I began my first site-adaptive endeavour. And I won’t pretend that these thoughts don’t still exist. However, I did find some interesting aspects to the process of site-adaptive work: namely the extent to which the work becomes something different in each different space as a result of the adaption. This is something I have encountered in site-specific work, too; there are variables of weather, visibility and, especially when working in a public space, the public’s behaviour, all of which affect the performance in different ways. This effect is magnified in site-adaptive work as the space you are performing in is also different, which brings a whole set of new variables.

When we performed Walking Paths at Romsey Art Festival last week, we performed it on two different sections of pavement. They were very dissimilar from each other, and from the space we had been rehearsing at in London. The first was on a side road, with cars parked along the curb (this affected the ability to view from the opposite side of the street), very few pedestrians, and a flower bed planting that took up part of the pavement at one end of the space. The second space was on a main street, with no cars parked along the curb, numerous pedestrians (this affected the performers’ interactions and use of space), and busy shop fronts (which added visual distraction and also meant that people were often crossing the pavement at right angles, rather than just walking straight along it). The upshot of presenting the work in such different space was that it really became a different work in each location, or so I feel at the moment. This is definitely an aspect of site-adaptive work that I think has  interesting research potential. There are several more performance dates for Walking Paths lined up, so perhaps those experiences will further ignite my interest in exploring site-adaptive work, or perhaps not. We shall see, but at this early stage, I’m not going to rule out making site-adaptive work again, even though I still feel a little more excited about the potential of site-specific work.

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